1 Corinthians 14:27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. 28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God. 29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. 30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. 31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. 32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. 33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.
Starting with verse 27, Paul lays down the rules for exercising the gifts of prophecy and tongues in the church. In regards to tongues, there are to be no women speaking it. According to verse 34, they are to keep silence in the church.
The final rule in verse 27 is “let one interpret.” If no interpreter is present, then the tongues speaker is to keep his mouth shut in the assembly (vs. 28). If the guy wants to pray in tongues, that’s between him and the Lord, but he is to “keep silence in the church.”
In any meeting, there are never to be more than three men speaking in tongues. And, if they do, it is to be done orderly and “by course.” The instructions are that if there is going to be tongues in the assembly, then the two or three allowed are to take turns: one at a time. If two speak at the same time, they have violated the rules laid down by the Holy Spirit for that gift.
The rules for prophecy are much the same: “two or three” (vs. 29) and each in turn (vs. 30-31). Instead of an “interpreter,” the prophets have a judge to say whether the prophecy is so or not. The standard for judging whether something is true or not, is the Scriptures. And that is what the Charismatics could never tolerate; judging their experience by the Scripture.
As we observed back in verse 25, prophecy can be equated with Bible preaching. In verse 31, the purpose of prophecy in the local congregation is “that all may learn, and all may be comforted.” Sometimes prophecy goes beyond just telling the future. Some¬times it entails the preaching and teaching of the Word of God.
Verse 32 is a great verse that should be memorized. “And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.” If anyone is going to receive the message of the preaching of God’s Word, they will be in subjection to it. They will never receive revelation outside of what the Scripture says. They CAN control their spirit. Because “God is not the author of confusion,” there is no such thing as a man getting so full of the Holy Ghost that he falls down in the aisle and rolls around and kicks over benches. There is no such thing as a man getting so full of the Holy Ghost that he suddenly goes into some jibber jabber and passes out and is in a coma four or five days. If a person is saved and is receiving the Word of God as it is in fact, the Word of God, they can control their spirit; With God to help them, they have no excuse for not controlling it.
Bob Jones Sr., the president of a Christian college, had three young men come in to him one time. They were putting the charismatic stuff out around the campus, and the old man called them in and sat them down. He said, “Now, you boys have the gifts of the Spirit. Is that right?” They said, “Yes, sir.” He said, “Well, what is your gift?” One said, “I’ve got the gift of healing.” He asked another one, “What is your gift?” The guy said, “I have the gift of tongues.” He asked the last one, “What is your gift?” The last one said, “I have the gift of interpreting tongues.” The old man said, “Well, I’ve got a gift, too. My gift is discerning of spirits. I discern you are of the devil!”
One time, a lady church member, years ago, came back from a Charismatic meeting and said to her preacher, “Oh, Preacher, I just know that Kathryn Kuhlman is of the Lord. I just know there never was a woman so filled with the Holy Ghost. I went down there to see her, and you just wouldn’t believe it. I saw people falling over down there in front of her, and I just didn’t believe it until I got down there myself. The power of God in that woman was so great that it just knocked me flat of my back.”
Where in the Bible has anyone read about the Holy Spirit knocking a Christian flat on his back? Would anybody care to find it? There is no place in the Bible where a Christian is knocked on their back by the Holy Spirit. The Charismatics get this perversion from the crowd that fell back in the Garden of Gethsemane, but that was unsaved people trying to kill Jesus. Why would a person think the Holy Ghost would knock a Christian down? He knocked a bunch of scribes and Pharisees and murderers down, NOT Christians. When confronted with this question, the lady said Kuhl man mentioned Saul in the Old Testament lying on the ground prophesying. However, you must remember that Saul was a demon-possessed suicide. That’s no example for a Christian. Every place you read in the Bible about people being knocked to the ground, it has something to do with demon possession or trying to kill Jesus.
We have gotten to the place in the world where people have been watching TV for so long that all they can do is just feel and feel and feel and feel, and it has to get wilder and wilder to make them feel something. People didn’t believe it when they were told there would be X-rated movies on TV for family entertainment before long. If you know what is on some cable channels, you don’t doubt it any more. The purpose of the TV is to make a person respond. People are so accustomed to responding that they get to the place where they think if there is any response in a church meeting, it’s the Holy Spirit. And if they get no response they think the Lord couldn’t be in it. Christians are at the place where if a quartet gets up and sings “Sweet Hour of Prayer” the congregation will just blink at you. But if another group comes along with a dance band to back them up and sings “I’m Headed up to Gloryland,” then that must be of the Holy Spirit. They’ve got everything twisted around.
The modern charismatic movement is nothing but confusion from start to finish, and verse 33 says, “God is not the author of confusion.” When this charismatic mess started, it was not from God. There hasn’t been one major Bible teacher, pastor, evangelist, or missionary, in the history of the Christian church, who ever talked in tongues or mentioned talking in tongues. The Charismatics had to rewrite church history and put in people like Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, and Kathryn Kuhlman to make a different history. But the truth of the matter is that there is nobody in apostolic times, before or after Nicaea, during the Dark Ages, Renaissance, or Reformation, or during the Great Awakening, the Second Great Awakening, the Cumberland Valley Revival, or the revivals of Moody, Torrey, or Sunday that ever mentioned speaking in tongues.
The modern tongues movement began in 1900 at the Azuza Street Mission in downtown Los Angeles. It started in an integrated church with a woman preacher. Then it went to Topeka, Kansas, in the 1920s and 1930s. In the 1930s, Aimee Semple McPherson started the Foursquare Full Gospel Tabernacle at Long Beach, and from there it infiltrated the Christian Business Fellowship, making it the Full Gospel Christian Business Fellowship Committee after World War II. Before that the Christian businessmen used to preach on the streets and pass out tracts. After the Full Gospel people got a hold of it, all it was good for was working out money deals. They could then all stay in their liberal churches and have fellowship. The charismatic movement is interdenominational, so that a saved man can stay in the church that was damning him to hell and support liberals and modernists. That is not the “peace” God gave to “all churches of the saints.”